Why Dirt And Dust Are A Threat To Your Wood Floor


Why Dirt And Dust Are A Threat To Your Wood Floor

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In addition to being a health hazard and an eyesore, the dust and dirt that accumulates on the floor negatively impacts the structure itself. This debris is broad, covering everything from the dust particles settling on the floor from the air above, to food particles, pollen and body sweat of insects and pests, all through to debris that is tracked into the household from the outside, sand and grime from dog parks, and even cases where there is greasy residue on the installation, forming clumps of dirt. 

Pets carrying dirt on their paws and in their fur as they come into the house from their outdoor escapades, particles being blown into the house by wind through the open doors and windows, and people walking around the premises with dirty shoes – these contribute to the pile-up of debris on the wood floor. Let’s look at how it damages the structure:

  • Wear and tear

The scratches and abrasive effects resulting from the dirt getting grinded against the floor will be obvious signs to watch out for. As people and pets move around the premises, the debris trapped between the shoe soles or pet’s paws and the surface of the floor acts like numerous tiny sandpapers grinding the surface. Sections that witness higher levels of footfall end up developing traffic lanes that clearly contrast the rest of the floorspace. 

  • Discolouration

In addition to the fading effects caused by the dirt particles being abraded against the floor, over time there will be grime working its way into the small cracks of the wood floor and even getting into the wood grain. This contributes to the dulled appearance of the wood floor, causing it to look old and forlorn. Definitely, this will have a negative impact on the rest of the décor. This is in addition to the liquid spills that get absorbed by the wood, especially for those stains that are left to dwell on the floor surface for long. 

Protecting Your Wood Floor from Damage with Floor Lacquers

In addition to the routine cleaning, the floor will require a barrier of protection that will help it ward off the wear effects. That’s where lacquers come in. Here is what you should consider when making your purchase:

  • Amount of foot traffic

The kind of foot fall that is handled by the establishment will determine the ideal treatment option to use on your floor. A household with just a couple starting out is different from a family with kids and pets – where the latter requires higher levels of protection. This is in turn different from areas like restaurants, airdrops and even train stations, where their extreme levels of foot traffic call for very strong lacquers to be used. With brands like Bona, you get options for the level of protection you want to give your floor. Their lacquers include:

  • Domestic Range

Here you have 1-component lacquers for domestic environments, such as the quick-drying Bona Novia, which can also withstand household chemicals.

  • Medium Range

Here are 1-component lacquers that are developed for commercial establishments as well as busy homes. These are the likes of Bona Mega, which is touted for its one-component formulation that has two-component performance, as well as the Bona Mega Natural version which has the protective attributes as well as maintaining the natural look and feel of the pure wood. 

  • Heavy Range

The formulations used here are ideal for public areas and commercial environments with high traffic levels. The Bona Traffic line is renowned for this, with its superior protection. The Bona Traffic HD takes things even to a higher level, which is why this particular formulation is popular for shopping malls, exhibition halls, public areas, airports and similar settings where the wood floors are exposed to extreme levels of wear. 

  • Impact on indoor air quality

You don’t want the finish product being used to end up polluting your indoor space, putting the occupants of the premises at risk. The level of emissions with the different floor lacquers that you’re looking into needs to be considered. Take the VOC amounts for instance. These are carbon-based chemicals (like formaldehyde) which easily get vaporised, permeating across the indoor air space. They are not just limited to the lacquers. That new car smell or the new building smell that you detect is largely due to the VOCs being produced by the different materials in them. Furniture, flooring material, mattresses, wall paints, laptops and other electronics – they all produce varying levels of VOCs, and the indoor air space can have hundreds of different compounds at a given time. It’s no surprise that the indoor air can be even over five times more polluted compared to the outdoors. 

Check the product label for the level of VOCs within the formulation. The lower this is, the better. Testing standards by independent third parties like the UL GREENGUARD Certification come in to assure you that the product in question is safe. This particular certification looks at the levels of emissions in building materials, cleaning and maintenance products, electronic equipment, all through to medical devices. The products are housed in dynamic environmental chambers where chemical analysts assess how much VOCs are products. The duration in which the products remain in these chambers varies, such as building products and furniture that are held in chamber for two weeks, emitting most of the chemicals on the first day and the levels go decaying over time until they clock a steady rate of emissions after a couple of weeks, while electronics can remain in the chamber for just a day. Numerous products are taken through the testing, and GREENGUARD is trusted across the board, from manufacturers, architects and designers, to professional maintenance companies, retailers and everyday users. There are over 13,000 certified products and you can check if the particular formulation has made it to the UL’s Sustainable Product Guide here.

A stricter GREENGUARD standard is the GREENGUARD Gold, where the emissions need to be far much lower to enable the product to be used in establishments like healthcare facilities, as well as kids’ rooms and schools. Due to the higher susceptibility of the little ones to indoor air quality issues since they breathe in more air per body weight, they are at a greater risk of being affected by pollutants that are in the airspace, hence the tougher criteria used for the GREENGUARD Gold. Products such as the Bona Traffic HD have achieved this standard, making them suitable for application in such environments.

Why Dirt And Dust Are A Threat To Your Wood Floor

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